Amazon announces the creation of availability zones for the EC2 system. Amazon describes them as “distinct locations that are engineered to be insulated from failures in other availability zones and provide inexpensive, low latency network connectivity to other availability zones in the same region”. With new web service calls you can choose what zone your instances are created in. In the past when you created a new instance you had no control over where the instance really lived. Here is part of the email that I received this morning about it:
Availability Zones give you the ability to easily and inexpensively operate a highly available internet application. Each Amazon EC2 Availability Zone is a distinct location that is engineered to be insulated from failures in other Availability Zones. Previously, only very large companies had the scale to be able to distribute an application across multiple locations, but now it is as easy as changing a parameter in an API call. You can choose to run your application across multiple Availability Zones to be prepared for unexpected events such as power failures or network connectivity issues, or you can place instances in the same Availability Zone to take advantage of free data transfer and the lowest latency communication.